Who is Mikey Musumeci, and why is he so good at Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
In this article, I break down everything you want to know about Mikey Musumeci:
- his stats & background;
- his BJJ training routine;
- his workout routine;
- his BJJ competition strategy;
- his fascinating diet;
- his BJJ gear;
- and his instructionals.
I’ll help you understand how Mikey approaches his training — helping YOU become a better grappler.
(NOTE: The source of the information in this article is from Mikey Musumeci himself: his podcast appearances, videos, instructionals, etc.)
Mikey Musumeci Stats & Background
Mikey Musumeci was born on July 7th, 1996 (making him 26 years old).
He’s 5’7″ tall (170cm) and weighs 138bs (62.5kg).
His overall BJJ record is 60 wins, 5 losses, and 0 draws.
Mikey Musumeci is a BJJ black belt and was awarded his black belt at the age of 18 by UFC fighter Gilbert Burns.
Mikey Musumeci started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of 4. He started training under Fernando Cabeca in Fatjos Martial Arts in New Jersey. He trained there for several years until he moved to Florida and began training at American Top Team.
At the age of 10, Mikey decided he want to be a BJJ world champion. This is when he became extremely dedicated to his training. Although his goal to become a world champion made him very disciplined, it also caused him to “skip” his teenage years, and transition quickly to adulthood.
As a teenager, Mikey would wake up at 4:30 am before high school and drill BJJ techniques with his sister (who is also a black belt). Then, he would go to school. After school, he would go home and continue training. Growing up, he had mats in his garage so he could train at home. He credits his sister for helping him develop his BJJ skills, as she “beat him up” for many years during their childhood.
When Mikey won his first black belt world championship, he was underwhelmed and felt nothing. He became depressed about the fact that achieving his life’s goal didn’t make him happy.
In winning 4 world championships in BJJ, Mikey realized winning didn’t fulfill him. Instead, what gave him fulfillment was helping other people develop their jiu-jitsu skills. That’s what gives him purpose.
Above all else, he wants to have a positive impact on the BJJ community and help the next generation of BJJ athletes.
He had a full scholarship to go to law school in Las Vegas. However, he decided to stick to jiu-jitsu. With all of the opportunities in BJJ, it was more lucrative for him to become a professional BJJ fighter than become a lawyer.
Mikey Musumeci is a self-proclaimed nerd and enjoys showing people that you don’t have to be a big, tough guy to excel in BJJ.
Outside of BJJ, Mikey loves learning languages and hiking. He speaks fluent Portuguese, which he learned by using Google Translate and speaking with Brazilians.
He also enjoys indoor climbing and says it’s the closest thing to BJJ.
After he’s done competing, Mikey believes he’ll become a BJJ instructor and start teaching full-time. He views teaching jiu-jitsu as a way to make other people’s day better and wants to create a positive environment for his training partners.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is Mikey’s passion — and he wants to live his passion to the fullest.
Mikey Musumeci Training Routine
Mikey Musumeci is known for his insane training schedule: he trains BJJ every day for 10-12 hours per day. Training jiu-jitsu is his favorite thing in the world.
Mikey thinks of Brazilian jiu-jitsu as a math problem. Every action has a different set of reactions. He seeks to have an answer to every reaction that his opponents give him.
He goes into every training session trying to solve a particular position. By focusing on one particular technique or position per training session, he finds it much easier to train consistently.
If he’s studying a particular move or position, and he wants to find an answer for it, he’ll spend all day studying that move. He loves solving the neverending puzzle that is jiu-jitsu.
For example, if he’s practicing a sweep, he thinks of his opponent’s reactions as a decision tree. If he’s attempting a sweep and his opponent’s base changes, what will he do? He wants an answer for every single reaction his opponent gives him — for every single move.
Mikey Musumeci leverages his OCD to improve his BJJ. If he doesn’t have an answer to a specific position or reaction, he can’t stop thinking about it until he’s solved it.
He uses this approach for his training partners as well. He chooses what to work on based on his weaknesses. If he’s training a certain position, and he figures out what stops it, he’ll teach his training partners how to stop his technique. That forces him to observe the reaction his opponents are giving him and develop an answer,
Mikey also believes that teaching is one of the best ways to get better at BJJ. Teaching BJJ forces you to break techniques down, step-by-step. By teaching, you see the details you previously weren’t conscious of.
Mikey Musumeci primarily trains with hobbyist purple, brown, and black belts. He likes their energy better than professional BJJ athletes, as hobbyists are there for enjoyment instead of it being a job.
In this way, his training style is similar to Roger Gracie, as they both train with lower belts and hobbyists.
He likes to compete against heavier opponents because it desensitizes him to size and strength disadvantages. It makes it easier for him to compete against his own weight class.
However, he doesn’t train with heavier opponents because it increases his risk of injury. He credits training only with smaller opponents as the key to his consistency and longevity. Gordon Ryan and Marcus Buchecha told Mikey they also prefer training with smaller training partners for this same reason.
Mikey used to do a lot of wrestling as a kid, but he feared getting hurt from being taken down by larger training partners. This made him more of a guard player.
He’s never had any serious injuries from BJJ, only minor foot and knee injuries.
Using this training system, Mikey feels as though he doesn’t need a coach, and that he learns best on his own.
Mikey strives to have no ego while he’s training. He knows he will only get better by teaching his training partners his weaknesses so they can beat him.
He’s constantly breaking down every aspect of BJJ to discover new things. For example, by trying to improve the ways to get to a heel hook, Mikey discovered a new submission: the “Mikey lock.”
Mikey Musumeci believes jiu-jitsu will never stop growing because there are infinite possibilities — possibilities that he loves to explore endlessly in his training.
Mikey Musumeci Workout Routine
How does Mikey Musumeci supplement his nonstop BJJ training?
Mikey follows the same daily workout and training routine.
He runs 6 miles every morning. He’ll also use a resistance bike to develop his cardio.
Mikey has a very high pain tolerance, and it’s tough for him to know when to give his body a break.
Mikey does jogging for active recovery. He discovered that jogging at a heart rate of 130 restores his nervous system. And doing consistent cardio enables him to train more than if he were to simply rest.
Mikey finds that long-distance running helps him prepare mentally for competition because it helps him quiet down the voice inside his head that urges him to quit.
He is known for his flexibility, which he gained from training BJJ for 21 years. He can get into very extreme positions, which make him limber and difficult for his opponents to deal with.
Mikey Musumeci used to lift weights, but he stopped strength training when he got his black belt.
He believes that smaller people like him are better technically at jiu-jitsu because they cannot rely on their size or strength. Because he did not want to rely on his strength, he stopped lifting weights. He credits his lack of weightlifting and strength for making him focus solely on technique, body positioning, and efficiency.
For recovery, Mikey also uses an infrared sauna he has in his home. He uses it every night for 30-40 minutes at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. He considers it to be a detox, and it helps him recover from his aches and pains.
Mikey also takes hot Epsom salt baths. He considers the pain from these baths greater than the anxiety he gets competing, so it helps him improve his mental toughness.
He understands that one of the most important things to succeed in BJJ is not only controlling your opponent, but learning to control yourself.
Mikey Musumeci Competition Strategy
Mikey Musumeci is a frequent competitor in both gi and no-gi.
He’s won every title in the gi that exists, and now, he is focusing more on no-gi.
His goal when competing is to work on a specific position and hit a specific submission that he’s been training. He won’t count that position or submission as legit unless he’s performed it in competition.
To hit that specific submission, Mikey attempts to bait his opponents to give him a certain reaction — and then he goes for his intended move.
In competition, Mikey believes it’s more efficient to be a guard player. As a guard player, you don’t have to take someone down and then progress. You can sit down and immediately start going for a submission to end the match. John Danaher also likes the guard for this reason.
Mikey feels as though he has a responsibility to make his fights exciting. Like Gordon Ryan, he always tries to go for the finish instead of stalling. He believes that he’s part of the generation that is spreading BJJ to a new platform, and to do that, people must enjoy watching his matches.
As an introvert, competitions stress him out because he is uncomfortable performing in front of many people. However, Mikey takes the Jocko Willink approach: you must do things that make you uncomfortable because that’s how you get better. The discomfort of competing is what pushes him to compete in the first place.
Mikey Musumeci Diet
Mikey Musumeci is known for his interesting diet.
He eats once a day at night, consuming…
- 1 large homemade pizza
- 1/2lb to 1lb of homemade pizza
- 1 pint of acai
In total, he eats around 7000 calories during this one meal.
During the day, he gets his energy from drinking coffee.
So, why does Mikey Musumeci follow this diet?
His diet stems from the intense weight cutting and dieting from competing in his younger years. He tried many different diets, but they all made him miserable, and none of them were sustainable.
When he began traveling and teaching seminars, he couldn’t eat during the day because he was teaching. He began eating only at night. Mikey noticed that he felt more clarity and alertness by only eating at night.
This is known as intermittent fasting.
By doing intermittent fasting, he feels better mentally and less bloated when he is training.
In addition, he tried to simply eat the food he loves. As a kid, pizza and pasta were his favorite foods. He’s willing to eat only once a day if he can eat what he loves.
He eats so much during this one meal at night, he feels as though he has a ton of energy the next morning when it’s time to train. By the time he’s hungry again, it’s nighttime.
And interestingly enough, Mikey finds it easy to make weight on this diet. The diet caused his off-season body weight to be lighter than usual.
He even finds that he performs at his best (winning black belt world championships) by following this diet. He’s been eating this way since 2020.
The key to Mikey Musumeci’s diet is sustainability. If he couldn’t eat what he loves, he would be miserable. If he’s miserable, he can’t train 10-12 hours a day. And if he can’t train as much as he wants, he won’t have the same success in competition. The diet keeps him sane and happy. When he’s happy, he performs his best in competition.
The only minor adjustment to his diet is eating a piece of bread, honey, and rice cakes during the day of competition. This helps him deal with the nerves and adrenaline.
When he was young, Mikey’s Grandma taught him how to make pizza. He makes the pizza himself, purchasing pizza dough from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.
His pasta is sent from Italy. He finds that Italian-made pasta is of higher quality than American-made pasta because there is less gluten. He also uses Colavita olive oil from Italy.
Mikey gets his protein from eating cheese. He doesn’t like eating meat when preparing for a competition, and feels cleaner when he’s not eating meat.
If he feels like he needs extra protein, he will add some seafood to his diet: clams, mussels, squid, and shellfish.
Mikey Musumeci BJJ Gear
Mikey Musumeci usually sports Shoyoroll BJJ gis when he’s training or competing in the gi.
He also wears Shoyoroll rash guards when he’s training or competing no-gi.
He’s also been spotted in RVCA, Evolve, and Venum BJJ gear.
Mikey Musumeci has collaborated with Shoyoroll on one of their BJJ gi releases.
Mikey Musumeci Instructionals
Mikey Musumeci teaches 19 BJJ instructionals on BJJ Fanatics.
His instructionals are mostly focused on guard play: closed guard, de la riva guard, berimbolo, etc.
His best seller is Power Switch Guard Retention And Genius Back Takes, which has a 5-star rating and 74 reviews.
Some BJJ players find Mikey’s instructionals hard to follow because of the overwhelming amount of detail that he includes.
But, if you’d like to model Mikey’s training system and techniques, give his instructionals a try.
So there you have it — an in-depth guide to the BJJ wizard that is Mikey Musumeci.
What have you learned from watching Mikey Musumeci? Has he helped you develop your game in any way?
Leave a comment in the section below with your thoughts or questions.
Happy rolling. 🤙
Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment and BJJ blue belt who started training in 2019. He’s a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado who wanted to share his favorite pickups with other jiujiteiros. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for jiu-jitsu practitioners to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.